Mexican fine dining meets SoCal farm-to-table at Valle by Baja Chef Roberto Alcocer
Award-winning chef Roberto Alcocer of Malva Cocina acclaim has brought his elevated approach to Baja cuisine to Valle , the new signature restaurant at the Mission Pacific Hotel. Focused on creative sourcing to anchor his menu in local ingredients and using cooking styles popularized in Guadalupe, Valle offers a decadent escape to Baja wine country from a dining table in North County San Diego.
Guadalupe Valley cuisine is heavily influenced by regional ingredients, so Alcocer translated some of his most popular dishes from Malva using San Diego produce and seafood, tapping into purveyors like Chino Farms and working closely with local fishermen. To replicate the outdoor grilling from Guadalupe in the contained kitchen at the Mission Pacific Hotel, Alcocer uses his own brand of charcoal oven, the Vesuvio, in the Valle kitchen. The oven allows for high-temperature cooking, which increases the juiciness of whatever is cooking while imparting a subtle smokiness.
Valle’s menu is designed as a four-course tasting menu, Alcocer says, “The idea is to offer a whole experience, from the approval through the goodbye. If you come and get one dish, it’s hard to fulfill what was designed.” The prix fixe is $95 and includes an amuse-bouche and bread course in addition to the four courses. An optional wine pairing is available for an additional $49 per person.
The primeros (first course) features dishes like Aguachile de Chayote with coconut, Persian cucumber, sea beans, and oyster leaf, and the Tarta, a caramelized onion tart featuring onions from Schaner Farms.
For the segundos (second course), try the Tacos De Abulon, made with sous vide Baja abalone, a black, nixtamalized corn tortilla, fermented habanero, and roasted cauliflower.
A vegetarian option is the Betabel Nixtamal featuring beets from Tamai Family Farms. The beets are wrapped in masa before roasting, which Alcocer shares keeps the moisture in the beet while adding a corn tamal flavor and hoja santa (Mexican pepperleaf) aroma. The masa-wrapped beats are opened tableside, served atop beet chips, pickled beets, a vegetarian take on chicharron, and goat cheese.
Next, enjoy a bread course including an incredible housemade black bean bread, adapted from a pound cake recipe, before terceros (third course), a sampling of Alcocer’s take on Carne Asada showcasing Snake River Farms wagyu ribeye, burnt guacamole, and pearl onions.
For a sweet finish, Valle taps into fruits from Mud Creek Ranch for a “bronzed” dessert made with bergamot, orange blossom, jasmine, grapefruit, and petitgrain, thoughtfully designed to replicate the official scent of Mission Pacific hotel. The dessert is introduced by a scented origami to enhance a multi-sensory experience.
Valle changes the menu seasonally in order to feature the freshest produce and seafood, so keep an eye out for new dishes this winter. Alcocer reveals that they are working on adding a cheese cart to the dining experience. The chef is also working closely with his sourcing team to teach them how to find and pick wild malva (mallow) in San Diego, the herb that Alcocer’s Guadalupe restaurant is named for, to be incorporated into future tasting menus.
Mission Pacific Hotel
201 N Myers St
Oceanside, CA 92054